Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I might have to move...

Nothing about technology or the database here. If you aren't interested in my thoughts about things outside of that - stop reading, go away.

I lived next to New Jersey for much of my life (1972-1987)..

I lived in New Jersey for more than a year (commuted there for a year, lived there for a year - 1992-1993).

I might have to move back. Because of this (NJ is not the only one, Minnesota is looking into it as well). Bravo I say. I fly *a lot* and I love flying *out*of country - because I know all of my flights that week (after the first one) - until the last one back home - will be "nice" ones.


I don't have to take off my shoes.
I don't have to empty my entire backpack for someone.
I don't have to be naked (in a picture for someone, somewhere).
I don't have to be felt up all over.
I don't have to be insulted in many ways and forms.

Until I come home that is - leaving and coming back - that is the problem these days. Didn't used to be that way, but it is now. It is easier for me to go from one foreign country to another than it is for me to go from state to state in the US. Seriously. I'd rather go to another country and fly from place to place than in the US - is it that much of a hassle. I feel the need to get to an airport with at least 2 hours, if not 3 to be safe, "just in case something new and special" will happen to me that time.

It isn't about safety anymore - it's about "let us react to the latest thing that happened and pretend that makes everyone feel better about themselves"

I've flown in/out of Israel more than a few times. They have it right. I've never stood in their lines (and they have lots of traffic) for more than 30 minutes. And I've never been subjected to what I am in the US. Just saying. They seem to be pretty darn secure. I've seen every layer of their security and experienced it. Pretty innocuous - yet daunting. But definitely not embarrassing or intrusive.


Blogger Connor McDonald said....

You've got it all wrong...

I don't have to be naked (in a picture for someone, somewhere).
I don't have to be felt up all over.
:end quote

That's precisely WHY i go the airport :-)

Wed Nov 17, 09:06:00 PM EST  

Blogger Tom said....

Interesting Tom. I live in PA now, in the Lehigh Valley very close to NJ :)

Anyway, I have to fly quite a bit and I agree with everything you said. I think in Israel they do profiling and look for nervous behavior. In the US we don't allow profiling because it might be termed racist. In Israel I don't think they really care.

Wed Nov 17, 09:09:00 PM EST  

Blogger jimmyb said....

I think a lot of people agree with your comments. It's 1984 two decades later.

Wed Nov 17, 11:57:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....


Lehigh Valley - that's where I grew up :)

Thu Nov 18, 01:02:00 AM EST  

Blogger Jean-Marc Desvaux said....

That's one of the nice things when leaving on an island !
One and only one airport.

Don't think of travelling the US via Mauritius, you will have a 48hr trip v/s getting naked to the bone decision to take. :)

Thu Nov 18, 01:44:00 AM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

I can feel your pain - here in Italy/Europe, airport security checks are far from being too much intrusive, yet I have always been disgusted by the occasional stern-looking "officer" that likes to intimidate people (just to feel powerful, I suppose).

That's enough for me to ruin a good flight, and I can imagine what would happen if the legislators gave them even more power ... as they routinely try to do.

Thu Nov 18, 03:34:00 AM EST  

Blogger Flado said....

I hope Texas follows this example, so I could finally go to a Hotsos Symposium... :-(

Thu Nov 18, 05:48:00 AM EST  

Blogger Kelloggsville said....

Yep sounds like the Israelis have it sussed. I vote for that system.

I'm a bit bothered about how upset everyone is getting about the nakedness. It would make more sense if we were mainly walking around in burqas, but have you looked across a beach recently or watched MTV. People aren't really leaving that much to the imagination. Is the final step so hard?!

Thu Nov 18, 06:52:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Israel Also did the following:-

Israel have to leave Palestine
USA have to leave IRAQ as Vitnam

Thu Nov 18, 07:06:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....


you've never seen me at the beach. I'll be the one usually wearing a hat, tshirt and shorts :)

Thu Nov 18, 07:18:00 AM EST  

Blogger Joel R. Kallman said....

Ryan's Run in Maple Shade - here you come!

Thu Nov 18, 07:35:00 AM EST  

Blogger Lixa said....

Thanks for the link on the Israel version of airport security. It's a very good point that things can be handled successfuly in more human ways.
I agree Israel has made a lot of bad decisions in some other areas, but this is no reason why we shouldn't look at some good things on their side.

Thu Nov 18, 08:50:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

It absolutely boggles my mind how anyone can think these measures make us safer.

Relinquishing freedom and basic human rights will never make us safer.

I hope my state follows suit. If they don't, I know some representatives that won't be getting my vote come next election.

Bill S.

Thu Nov 18, 08:53:00 AM EST  

Blogger Don said....


Thu Nov 18, 09:23:00 AM EST  

Blogger Basil Fawlty said....

Forgive me, but the US becomes more and more like the USSR. I have first hands experience - lived in both countries.

I am seeing that TSA-style solutions is a manifestation of a bigger pattern.

Most of projects in a modern US corporation consist of 4 phases:
-- Intimidate;
-- Obfuscate;
-- Punish the innocent;
-- Reward nonparticipants.

Thu Nov 18, 10:00:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Yes, I agree the Israeli method would likely work better and keep us safer. But America has become sooo politically correct, any mention of the word "profiling" would immediately have activist groups like CARE crying about how it's unfair towards Muslims, etc.

So instead of profiling, and focusing security on those *more likely* to blow up planes, we have decided to *assume* everyone is an equally likely threat. Sigh.

Thu Nov 18, 10:07:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

CAIR, not CARE..

Thu Nov 18, 10:10:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Tom, and everyone else,

Tell your Congress person, your Senators, your President, and everyone who will listen how disgusted you are with the treatment the flying public are getting from our government.

Thu Nov 18, 10:16:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

You sound like Glenn Beck - :). He spend his show yesterday talking a lot about this. Profiling is the answer and those of us who arent PC must push our PC representatives to push for it.

Thu Nov 18, 11:46:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Definitely Not David Aldridge said....

Hoo-boy, there're a lot of Tom/Thomas Kite/Kyte/Kits/Kitterson's who are suddenly going to find their search experiences to be very personal indeed, hah hah hah!

The number one tip for a comfortable trip is now to take your own Vaseline to the airport. You don't want to be sharing with the rest of the line ;)

Thu Nov 18, 01:13:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Christo Kutrovsky said....

Nov 24 - VOTE for opt out

If it bothers you, make noise.

Thu Nov 18, 01:26:00 PM EST  

Blogger Roger Snowden said....

Yep, Tom, you hit it on the nail. Our government has no real motive to get it right, either. How simple it would be to decide to go after the cause of the problem instead of focusing on those who experience the symptoms.

Travel used to be fun. I've done way too much in recent years to say that again.

I've been in Germany for the past two weeks. I really look forward to being home this weekend, but dread the experience of getting there.

Thu Nov 18, 02:10:00 PM EST  

Blogger Tom said....

Ron Paul is introducing the American Traveler Dignity Act.

Thu Nov 18, 03:20:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

The Ron Paul Act looks interesting, but I'm not sure privatizing the security aspect is the way to go--simply because private entities may not have access to all the necessary intelligence information to properly profile and detect suspicious individuals.

Although I am generally not for more government bureaucracies, a government entity may be best positioned for providing security in this case.

Proper profiling would likely yield better results than the current methodologies in place.

Thu Nov 18, 09:25:00 PM EST  

Blogger Phoenix Bai said....

I don`t see you post this kind of feeling blogs often. It is nice to see you going on (talking) about things other than database!!!

Thu Nov 18, 11:46:00 PM EST  

Blogger Phoenix Bai said....

@Connor McDonald

Sir, You are funny :)

Thu Nov 18, 11:47:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

The Isreali approach is great - in Israel.

The US gets gazillions to the power of infinity more passengers than Israel. And Israel has JUST 2 international airports.

Fri Nov 19, 08:01:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

@last anonymous

so what that we have more airports?

It only has to scale to the level of an airport. The number of airports doesn't affect the implementation.

Fri Nov 19, 08:04:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

so what that we have more airports?

It only has to scale to the level of an airport. The number of airports doesn't affect the implementation.

Lots of highly-trained personnel are expensive and tricky to keep tabs on. 2 airports' worth of such personnel is easier to maintain than lots of airports' worth.

Also, the reality of what would happen to any country that orchestrated a bomb attack on an Israeli plane (i.e. Mossad agents hunting-down their foe and popping caps in their asses, and meting-out helicopter gunship-style punishment raids on their neighbours - something we in the West are less famous for) is, I suggest, a far more effective deterrent than icy stares from airport cops.

But I don't fly anyway - too many passengers moaning about the security designed to keep them alive.

Fri Nov 19, 09:51:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

@Anonymous again

Lots of highly-trained personnel are expensive and tricky to keep tabs on.

exactly an argument for not the way the TSA operates.

exactly an argument for having airports manage this - again, only need to scale to an airport.

The security isn't designed to keep us alive. The no-fly list - a joke, very easy to get around - as an example.

The scanners - would not necessarily detected anything they are supposed to have detected.

The putting of hands in my underwear - not really something that protects my life.

It is called "security theatre" for a reason.

Fri Nov 19, 12:56:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

The choices are, then:

1. Go Israeli and rely, primarily, on having one of the world's best (and more lethal) State security services (Mossad) to filter-out bad persons waaaaay before they reach the airport, but tell everyone who's dim enough to listen that it's all so very simple, really, and that Israeli airport staff can divine terrorist intent by means of looking into a person's eyes, seeing how they react to clever interrogation techniques, such as asking, "Are you a terrorist?", and sniffing passenger armpits for traces of stress-related pong.

2. Search passengers - which takes time and brings a red tinge to the cheeks of the more delicate air traveller.

Fri Nov 19, 01:52:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....


You have a very romantic view of the Israelis - you might want to go there sometime.

Just to see for yourself.

It would be enlightening perhaps.

But then again, you don't travel because you don't like us whining - no worries.

Maybe too many late night movies? Something like that...

Fri Nov 19, 04:34:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


I think you've got a rose-tinted view of airports outside of the US - on a recent trip I had the pleasure of being 'profiled' at a major European airport when attempting to board a flight to the US.

The resultant interrogation by three separate employees of private security firms, microscopic inspection of every single item in my backpack, and intimate body search (just about in front of all the other passengers, as this was at the gate) was far worse than anything i've ever been subjected to at an America airport (and from past unfortunate experiences, I'm certainly no fan of the US border officials).

Europe-based anonymous PL/SQL developer.

Fri Nov 19, 11:09:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

@Last anonymous

if you read the post, I wrote:

and I love flying *out*of country - because I know all of my flights that week (after the first one) - until the last one back home - will be "nice" ones.

I was talking specifically about the flights in and out of the US and the ones IN the US.

Get out of the US and fly anywhere - no worries.

Be anywhere and try to fly into the US - not fun.

I've been pulled, dump my bags - everything out - every plug, cable, piece of paper, gum wrapper, whatever (on a positive note, I found some things I was looking for...). I've been interrogated and frisked (last time was coming home from Vienna Austria - that infamous "random selection" process)

But again - it is a US flight - inbound or outbound.

One guess as to where the rules and regulations, policies and procedures for getting on those flights come from.

That is exactly the type of problem I'm talking about.

Flying in Europe/Asia Pacific - no worries.

Leaving the US, coming back to the US, flying in the US - not so much.

Sat Nov 20, 02:07:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Kevin Ryan said....

I agree. In fact, I'm driving from New York to Florida in January.

I do actually enjoy road trips, but I also don't want to endure any of these indignities.

...On the other hand, my 68 year old father didn't seem to mind at all. He said it was the most action he's had in years! (<- not kidding)

Mon Nov 22, 10:30:00 AM EST  

Blogger Ed Crotty said....

The Israeli system seems very secure but has a lot of trained people - people who can't just be paid minimum wage.

In the US we apparently prefer a machine that gets paid for once, and minimum wage folks - because doing it right costs too much.

Sad, really.

Mon Nov 22, 01:28:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Christo Kutrovsky said....


Here's an interseting story from a policeman on TSA's procedures.

I think you will find it a good read.

Mon Nov 22, 02:35:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Speaking of Antarctica, I reckon they ate Capt.Oates.

Wed Nov 24, 10:56:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Frank Christian said....


15 years ago in Israel I had to empty my suitcases and bagpacks - I was treated with no respect - touched at places I don't want to mention. Friends of mine had to put their clothes off up to their underwear. Now 15 years later they have a modern equipment and can find explosive material very easily.

I guess in 5 years the US will also have better equipment and make flying easier again. Today it is a nightmare I agree. I did not fly to the US any more since they would take my finger prints and I do not trust their justice.

I think the only consequence is not to fly - but then you will probably loose your job.

Thu Nov 25, 12:48:00 PM EST  

Anonymous ian said....

Excellent post, I discovered your website through Google. I bookmarked your site for furture infomation, thanks.

Fri Nov 26, 04:38:00 PM EST  

Anonymous ellis said....

As I recall no Americans were involved in the 9/11 attacks. And the 19 hijackers, 15 of which were from Saudi Arabia, were given quick, easy access to the US via the State Department "Visa Express" program. (Fairly simple to profile;)

So, over and above the utterly idiotic, intrusive, pointless molestations at the groping hands of the TSA never have quite grasped ANY aspects of the "Patriot Act" when virtually all tenets of the legislation are used to spy on Americans which, oddly enough, the majority of Americans enthusiastically supported under the "if you aren't doing anything wrong" postulate.

Had the Patriot Act been passed prior to 2001 it would not have prevented the 9/11 attacks. And based on various studies as to the current effectiveness of the TSA (including sending "test luggage" through scanners packed with handguns and other weapons) neither will the current full body groping. In fact, numerous studies demonstrate our planes and ports aren't any safer than they were prior to 9/11.

Basic competency. It is universally critical from Oracle Database Administration and PL/SQL programming to National Security. So, can't imagine groping my twigs and berries as I opt out of having full-body dental X-Rays is going to prevent that next attack when a phone call from the Detroit plane bombers' Dad didn't prevent him from watching the in-flight film.

Nevertheless, going to have to insist the TSA recruit under-30, single, female super-models (non-smoker a plus and Oracle Masseuse Certified desired) and then I'm going to fly at least once every Friday;)

And, for the record, the Detroit Plane Bomber didn't store his chemical firecrackers in his anus with the wick sticking out of his butt. Seems as if Amsterdam airport security would have noticed the male camel toe=)

Mossad recommends profiling as the most effective means of preventing another 9/11. Most IC security experts recommend profiling. We profile every single day when we don't drive through certain neighborhoods, stop at specific ATM machines, or look to hire that next Oracle "expert." And the antelope profiles the lion...whatta ya gonna do;)

I profile every Friday when I am looking to get groped. Thanks

Sun Nov 28, 10:59:00 AM EST  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

Terrorists route around security.

If you extend the Israeli model everywhere, they will simply do something else - ship explosives in printers, shoot down the plane with hand-held missiles, blind pilots with lasers, and likely other cheap obvious things that haven't already been done - that is the nature of asymmetrical warfare. In the meanwhile, nervous people will be hassled, and eventually some sociopath who looks like Ed Asner will calmly walk right in smiling.

I went through right after Entebbe, and I got the third degree. Granted, that was long ago, but that idiot in Iran with medium range nukes means the Israeli's are going to get very, very paranoid. I don't think the Israeli method will hold up very long, and I don't think it can scale well. It certainly can't work in the US, where simply looking strange can bring on mass hysterical witch hunts.

word: shismi

Tue Nov 30, 08:28:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Someone else touched on this....Tom good to see you busting out of you usual shell on this one on a political subject. I haven't experienced this yet but when I heard about it I figured it had to be a joke or something that would last a week due to how ridiculous it is.

Also you mentioned Israel, they're actually ranked #1 in airport security, wondering if you knew that when you had them in mind.

Anyway, the solution you your problem is simple; Oracle needs to get you your own private jet. Larry probably has a few spares laying around ;)


Fri Dec 03, 04:12:00 PM EST  


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